Charges dropped for 2 in Speed killing

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 3, 2009

Charges were dropped Thursday against two men facing trial this week for killing 26-year-old David Becker last June.

District Attorney Ricky Smith, who said the investigation will continue, said Antonio Glasper, 22, 74 Red Hawk Road, and Eric Campbell, 27, 503 Fairground St., were cleared of the murder charges, as well as charges of aggravated assault and shooting into a dwelling.

Smith said Glasper likely will be released today from the Warren County Jail, where he has been held since Becker died. Campbell has been out of jail on a $155,000 bond since a month after the homicide.

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Both were indicted in October by a grand jury for murder. However, as the trial was set to get under way in Judge Isadore Patrick’s court this week, Smith said prosecutors were uncertain they had enough evidence to convince a jury Glasper and Campbell were responsible for Becker’s death.

“A large part of the reason for not going forward with this case is we want to make sure we have sufficient evidence to reach a guilty verdict,” Smith said. “If we try the case and they’re found not guilty, they can never be tried again. My heart always goes out to the family and friends of the victim in these instances, and we will continue to work to get justice for them.”

Smith said new charges may be filed if more evidence is found. There is no statute of limitations in Mississippi for murder cases.

Becker was wounded in the chest, arm and both legs in a drive-by shooting while he stood on his front porch at 712 Speed St. on June 8. Police said the 2:47 a.m. shooting followed a fight near Speed and Hunt streets, about a block from Becker’s home. Becker was transferred to University Medical Center in Jackson, where he remained in critical condition until he died during a surgery on June 22. Becker’s uncle, 42-year-old Lee Sherman Yates, who also lived at the Speed Street home, was shot in the right foot at the same time and is disabled as a result.

“I’m very upset and frustrated,” Yates said. “I don’t think justice is being served.”

Yates said the district attorney’s office contacted him earlier this week about the dropped charges and told him a key witness who had identified Glasper and Campbell as the shooters was now missing. Smith would not comment on any specifics of the case, citing an ongoing investigation.

Yates said he did not see who shot him and his nephew, but he believes it was Glasper and Campbell. Now he not only fears there will be no justice for his slain nephew, Yates said he also fears for his and his family’s safety.

“I very seldom leave the house anymore because of these kinds of incidents. With one of them already out and the other one being released — it’s a very, very stressful time for me and my family,” he said. “I don’t want any more killing to start.”

Yates said he did not know Glasper or Campbell before the shooting and did not believe his nephew knew them either. He said police investigators had initially told him the shooting was “an open-and-shut case.”

Upon hearing of the dropped charges Thursday, Vicksburg Police Chief Tommy Moffett said the investigation of Becker’s death will be reopened soon.

“I’ll sit down with our investigators and review the case. We’ll also have some consultation with the DA’s office and really brainstorm where we can go,” he said. “Obviously, we had presented everything we had. We’ll put some fresh eyes on it and see what direction we can go from here.”

Becker’s death was one of nine homicides in the city and county last year. There has been one homicide in each the city and county this year.


Contact Steve Sanoski at

2008 homicides

Nine homicides were reported in Vicksburg and Warren County in 2008. Here’s a rundown of where the cases stand:

• Keiwana Hoza Jones, 25, 1312 China St. Apt. A, case dismissed before trial. Jones was charged in the Feb. 9 Shaken Baby Syndrome death of 4 1/2-month-old Matthew L. Parker. Jones was indicted on manslaughter charges in August, but District Attorney Ricky Smith said a judge’s decision to disallow Jones’ confession led prosecutors to drop the charges. The investigation is ongoing.

• James Ledell Lumpkin, 46, 204 Sherman Ave., was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Jan. 30 after pleading guilty to the capital murder of 15-year-old Sharonda L. “Na-Na” Brown on May 24.

• James Ainsworth, 24, 279 Opperman Road, was no-billed by a grand jury in October in the February shooting death of Donald Wayne Vinson. The grand jury found Ainsworth acted in self-defense.

• No arrests have been made in the July 23 homicide of Walter C. Cole, a retired Vicksburg police officer. Cole, 75, 258 Jefferson Circle Apt. 250-B, was found inside a car on Pittman Road, near his Waltersville Estates home, with a bullet wound in his head.

• Eric DeShawn Jackson, 26, 2609 Grant St., was found guilty March 25 in the June 26 murders of Denise Jackson, 25, her unborn baby boy and Preston Qualls, 25, following a shooting in the 2600 block of Ken Karyl Avenue. Jackson was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences without parole.

• Eric Davis, 34, 112 Meadowvale Drive, is scheduled to go to trial May 11 on charges he shot and killed his neighbor, 23-year-old Devin M. Moore, on June 25 over a property-line dispute. Smith said he is seeking to change the trial date to June 1 due to a conflict in the court schedule.

• Eric Campbell, 28, Fairground St., and Antonio Glasper, 22, 74 Red Hawk Road, had the murder charges they were facing dropped in the June 6 shooting of 26-year-old David Becker at his home at 712 Speed St. The investigation is ongoing.